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Stephanie Trenchard: Exploring the Partnership and Parenthood Influence on Career and the Creative Process

Stephanie Trenchard: Exploring the Partnership and Parenthood Influence on Career and the Creative Process

Posted on Dec 31, 2018, by

In my cast glass sculptures I am especially interested in how motherhood and partnership affects the creative process as well as the careers of women. I have created visual biographies based on information found in books about well-known women artists and the partners of artists.  In this way, by focusing on the quotidian, I illuminate the way that altars are also storyboards and the way that human lives intersect with notions of what is holy. The familial information tells stories of children being left behind (Louise Nevelson), husbands who overshadow careers (Sonia Delaunay), suicidal sons (Louise Bourgeois), dominate partners (Dora Marr & Françoise Gilot), and the competition of sisters (Emily Dickinson and Jane Austin with their siblings). This sort of inference and speculation reflects more on my own thoughts about motherhood and the creative process, which often seems to be at odds with one another, each competing for full attention.

As an artist who identifies as a woman, I am only interested in the female experience. I have always planned on being an artist but was hard-pressed as a young girl to find role models of women artists who also have children. Many of the stories and biographies included tragedy of these artists either having to give up their families or give up their creative practice. There are tragedies for men as well but not usually about them having to choose between parenthood and their art. As I mined the stories of these women I collected images and details, much of which I use in my own work.

Trenchard holds a BFA in painting from Illinois State University. Her work is in many public collections such as the Museum of Wisconsin Art and the Alverno College. She has had a solo show at the Benedict F and Dorothy J Gorecki Gallery at St Benedict College, Saint Joseph, Minnesota and the Mesa Art Center.  She has been included in numerous group shows nationally.  She has won awards and is in many prestigious collections. In addition to teaching in her studio, she has taught at Gerrit Rietveld Academie, (Amsterdam), Bangkok Glass (Thailand) Pratt Fine Art Center, University of Wisconsin, and others.

Ms. Trenchard works in Sturgeon Bay, WI with her husband, Jeremy Popelka. Together they operate Popelka Trenchard Glass, a fine art gallery showing cast glass sculpture and murrini blown glass made on site. Trenchard’s work will be on view at Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass through February 17, 2019.

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